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    Moving on after Divorce: A guide to healing and rebuilding 

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    Getting a divorce is often a tumultuous and life-altering event.  It can disrupt your life in numerous ways, leaving you with a whirlwind of emotions and a new reality to adjust to. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the divorce, moving on can be a challenging process. However, with the right mindset and tools, you can heal and rebuild your life.  In this article, you will find suggested strategies to help you navigate life after divorce. 

    1. Embracing Acceptance 

    Acceptance is the first and perhaps the most crucial step in the healing process. Divorce often leaves people grappling with denial, regret, and confusion. It’s natural to ask questions like “What if I had done things differently?” 

    However, dwelling on the past or the future you envisaged can hinder your healing process. Instead, try to gently redirect your thoughts towards acceptance. Adopt a mindset that says, “The divorce happened, and there’s no changing that.” Remember, acceptance doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a journey, so be patient with yourself. 

    2. Prioritizing Self-Care 

    Self-care is essential during this vulnerable time. It’s crucial to honor your physical and emotional needs. You can focus on self-care by: 

    • Engaging in regular exercise. 
    • Maintaining a well-balanced, nutritious diet. 
    • Ensuring adequate sleep. 
    • Leaning on a positive support system with good friends or close family members. 
    • Pursuing hobbies and passions. 

    Taking care of yourself will help you navigate the emotional roller-coaster that often accompanies divorce. 

    3. Fostering Gratitude 

    Even in difficult times, it’s essential to remember the blessings in your life.  Try to stop feeling sorry for yourself for a prolonged period.  Research shows that practicing gratitude can profoundly affect your overall happiness, self-esteem, and compassion towards others. Implement more gratitude into your daily life; start by writing down the three best things that happened to you each day. 

    4. Reconnecting with Your True Self 

    Divorce can be a profound time for self-discovery. It’s common for people to sacrifice parts of their identity during marriage, often unintentionally. But now is the time to ask yourself, “What makes me happy?” “What are the things I used to enjoy doing before I got married?” “Are there any hobbies or interests I gave up because my spouse didn’t care for them?” 

    Take this time to reconnect with your passions and honor your desires. If you’re unsure, start by exploring your interests and cultivate curiosity about your inner world. 

    5. Seeking Support 

    Consider joining a support group or finding a compassionate therapist. Support groups provide meaningful connections, a sense of validation, and a space to share personal experiences. They can offer valuable resources, important life skills, and a sense of empowerment for the future. 

    6. Setting Communication Boundaries 

    Speaking to your ex-spouse after the divorce can be most formidable and emotionally draining.  Mixed emotions of both hurt and yearning can trigger messy feelings. If you have children and need to communicate with your ex-spouse regarding your children, effective communication with your ex-spouse can exacerbate this stress. 

    Getting agitated and angry with your ex-spouse will probably create chaos in the co-parenting process.  It’s critical to establish boundaries around when, what, and how you choose to communicate. It might be beneficial to consult with a family counselor to help you work out the parameters of co-parenting. 

    7. Avoiding Cyber-Stalking 

    In today’s digital age, it’s easy to look up an ex-partner on social media to find out what is happening in his or her life. While stalking your ex-partner on his Facebook or Instagram may seem harmless to you, this behavior often stalls healing and can lead to heightened levels of anger, resentment, sadness, and grief.

    It’s best to delete, block, and avoid. As tempting as it may be, obsessing over an ex-partner on social media can be a form of self-harm. 

    8. Speaking Responsibly to Your Children 

    Divorce can significantly impact children. How you talk to your children about the divorce will make a big difference. As a parent, it’s important to protect, validate, and honor their feelings.  No matter how you feel about your ex-spouse, just remember that your ex-spouse is your child’s parent too. 

    Avoid badmouthing your ex-spouse and trying to influence your children to win them over against your ex-spouse. Stop trying to relive the miserable past by talking to your children about the unhappy events of your failed marriage.  Focus on the welfare of your children by working out a new daily routine for the children. 

    Stability is paramount for a child’s wellbeing.  You cannot change your past, but you can plan a happy future for your children. 

    9. Dating: Listen to Your Intuition 

    When it comes to dating after a divorce, listen to your intuition. Healing doesn’t follow a linear timeline, and there’s no perfect timeframe for when you’re ready to date again. This is your life, and you can set the rules. 

    10. Practice Self-Compassion 

    Being kind to yourself is crucial for your healing process. You need to be loving, patient, and forgiving with yourself during this painful time. You can practice self-compassion by engaging in positive affirmations, allowing yourself extra time for self-care, setting healthier boundaries, and reaching out for more support when needed. 

    11. Expanding Your Social Circle 

    Post-divorce, it can be beneficial to expand your social circle. Divorce can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. Making new friends can help combat these feelings and provide you with a sense of belonging and support.

    Consider volunteering for a cause that you believe in, taking up music lessons, or joining a local club to meet new people. 

    12. Working with a Professional 

    Divorce can have a significant impact on your emotional and mental well-being. Working with a therapist can provide you with compassionate guidance and support. They can help you explore strategies to cope with any painful or difficult thoughts and emotions that come up.   

    Final thoughts 

    Divorce is undoubtedly a challenging event, but it’s also a new beginning, a new chapter of your life.  By practicing acceptance, focusing on self-care, seeking support, and showing kindness to yourself, you can navigate through this difficult time and emerge stronger.

    Remember, it’s okay to ask for help and lean on others for support. With time and patience, you can rebuild your life after divorce. 

    Photo by Toa Heftiba

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